Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has commissioned a mobile laboratory on Monday to begin testing for COVID-19 in the state. This will further boost the states efforts in curtailing the spread of the pandemic.
The State Government, shortly after launching the Ekiti State Covid-19 Response Hub (a Geographic Information System- based application created to manage data on the pandemic in the state), took the delivery of the mobile laboratory which is being set up at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti, in partnership with 54gene, a company set up to provide genomic data for Africa.
The initiative is one of the interventions being facilitated by the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilization Committee, set up by Governor Fayemi, to attract effective support base to respond to the threats posed by the pandemic to citizens of Ekiti State.
The mobile laboratory is now fully equipped with vital testing instruments and biosafety materials including an autoclave, biosafety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing. According to agreed terms, 54gene will also furnish the State with operational support and staffing by providing molecular scientists with the necessary skill set required to handle the instruments in the mobile laboratory.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, while giving his address at the commissioning, said Ekiti State now has testing capacity of up to 400 tests daily. He also noted that tests will be conducted across all 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state to aid early detection of the coronavirus and ensure timely and adequate treatment of any infected person.
Governor Fayemi also added that the COVID-19 mobile laboratory will remain in Ekiti State post-COVID19 pandemic and would serve as a fully functional molecular laboratory to boost the States molecular testing capabilities and may be used by medical researchers and clinicians within Ekiti State in the event of any future outbreaks.
The COVID-19 Mobile Laboratory is pioneered by 54gene, a Health Tech company accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is already testing for COVID-19 in Lagos, Kano and in Ogun States.